BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- Elise Molnar (Sr., Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar) of Harvard University claims honors as the 2013 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Women's Varsity Division I/II Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
The highest honor bestowed by the league to an active player, matched only by the induction of a former player to the league's Hall of Fame, the award recognizes an outstanding senior student-athlete who has achieved success in both the scholastic (3.25 or higher cumulative grade point average) and athletic arenas while possessing a spirit which provides service to the community.
Athletes were nominated by their respective Department of Athletics with each CWPA institution eligible to nominate a female student-athlete for the award with the recipient being selected based on a points system derived from Community Service, CWPA Academic Honors, Scholastic Achievement and All-Conference/All-Eastern Tournament selections over their career.
Molnars' selection marks the fifth time the award has been presented by the league as Bucknell University's Aubrey Rowe (2009), Washington & Jefferson College's Jessica Barby (2010), the University of Michigan's Alison Mantel (2011) and George Washington University's Megan Walker previously garnered the award.
A neurobiology major, she is a four-time CWPA Scholar-Athlete and Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-Academic selection garnering Superior honors in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The 2013 Harvard University Peter Hursh '74 Memorial Award, which is given annually to the Harvard water polo senior who embodies the spirit and tenacity of the award's namesake, Molnar claimed a pair of All-Conference accolades during her time in Cambridge with 2012 All-Southern Division Second Team and 2010 All-Northern Division Second Team accolades.
A team captain in 2013, she posted 32 goals, 27 assists and 35 steals as a senior in helping the Crimson to an 18-16 record and a sixth place mark at the CWPA Eastern Championship hosted by the University of Michigan.
In past seasons, she notched 21 goals, 16 assists and 40 steals as a junior in 2012 to help Harvard to a 17-12 record and seventh place finish at the CWPA Eastern Championship hosted by Brown University, after recording 32 goals, 27 assists and 48 steals as a sophomore in 2011 as part of a 17-15 mark and sixth place finish at the Eastern Championship contested at Indiana University. During her rookie campaign in 2010, she contributed 26 goals for Harvard as the team went 12-15 and placed eighth at the CWPA Eastern Championship at the University of Maryland.
Prior to her time at Harvard, she earned four varsity letters in swimming and three in water polo at Corona del Mar High School. Named to All-California Interscholastic Federation first team in 2009 and second team in 2008, she was a two-time All-CIF Southern Section and was recognized on the Los Angeles Times and Daily Pilot Dream Team in 2009.
Her high school valedictorian, she was recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Award along with the University of California-Irvine Center for Neurobiology Learning and Memory Grant and the Darwin Science Award, while volunteering with the National Charity League for five years.